International Statement of Solidarity to Stop Rockwool in Jefferson County, West Virginia

Mary Anne Hitt
Nov 22, 2019 · 6 min read
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We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, stand with the grassroots movement in Jefferson County, West Virginia and neighboring areas that is fighting to stop Rockwool, a Danish multinational corporation, from building a fossil fuel-powered, heavy industrial mineral wool factory in their community.

We understand that this Rockwool factory is being built less than half a mile from an elementary school where it would disproportionately impact low-income people and people of color. The factory would expose schoolchildren to dangerous levels of toxic air pollution, risk contaminating local water supplies, jeopardize agricultural and tourism economies, burn large amounts of fossil fuels, necessitate new fracked gas infrastructure, and promote more fossil fuel-driven heavy industry development.

Further, this Rockwool project was advanced through a development process that lacked transparency and inclusive public engagement. It is clear that the majority of the people of Jefferson County and nearby who would be impacted by the factory are firmly opposed to it, including most elected officials. We believe this democratic community will must be respected.

We know that Rockwool promotes its product as a climate solution and that improving building insulation to reduce energy use is a crucial part of addressing climate change. However, our commitment to environmental justice calls us to insist that climate solutions never come at the expense of local public health or democracy. And this particular Rockwool factory would — through its heavy use of fracked gas and coal and its role as the anchor for both a new gas pipeline and a much larger fossil fuel-powered heavy industrial park — drive a major expansion of local greenhouse gas emissions.

The fight to stop Rockwool in Jefferson County is a climate justice fight. We join the determined community opposition to the development of this Rockwool factory at its current location or any other that would cause similar risks to public health, water quality, and sustainable development while increasing local carbon pollution and toxic emissions. If Rockwool truly wants to be part of a just climate solution, it must build no new fossil fuel-powered factories, rapidly phase out existing fossil fuel use, operate zero-emissions facilities, and respect both the democratic will of local communities and principles of social justice when assessing potential factory sites. We pledge our support to this fight and join the call for a global boycott of Rockwool until the company abandons their plans to build the Jefferson County facility and adopts commitments to prevent similar harm in the future. Until they do so, Rockwool should not be considered a green company or a climate leader.

TAKE ACTION! Support the grassroots movement to stop the toxic Rockwool factory in Jefferson County, West Virginia, by adding your name here:

Signers: Organizations listed for identification purposes only, unless organization listed separately. *Signer lives in or has family ties in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

  • Mary Anne Hitt*, Senior Director, Beyond Coal Campaign, Sierra Club; member, Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition
  • Kai Newkirk*, Founding Mission Director, Democracy Spring; founding member, Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition
  • Sammi Brown*, former Democratic National Committee member; West Virginia Delegate, District 65
  • John Doyle*, West Virginia State Delegate, District 67
  • Rod Snyder*, former President, Young Democrats of America
  • NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark
  • Greenpeace Nordic
  • Danish Green Students Movement (Den Grønne Studenterbevægelse)
  • 350 Climate Movement of Denmark (350 Klimabevægelsen i Danmark)
  • Greenpeace USA
  • Sierra Club
  • Sunrise Movement
  • Friends of the Earth US
  • Zero Hour
  • Food & Water Action
  • Presente.Org
  • Bill McKibben, Author & Activist
  • Naomi Klein, Journalist, Author, Filmmaker & Activist
  • Mark Ruffalo, Actor & Activist
  • Rev. William J. Barber II, President, Repairers of the Breach; Co-Chair, Poor Peoples Campaign
  • Noam Chomsky, MIT Institute Professor Emeritus, Author & Activist
  • Pelle Dragsted, former member of Danish Parliament
  • Alyssa Milano, Humanitarian & Actress
  • Rosario Dawson, Actor & Activist
  • Jamie Raskin, US Representative, Maryland’s 8th Congressional District
  • Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club
  • Annie Leonard, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
  • Karenna Gore, Director, Center for Earth Ethics
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Senior Attorney, Waterkeeper Alliance
  • Varshini Prakash, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Sunrise Movement
  • Jamie Margolin, Founder, This Is Zero Hour
  • Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth US
  • James Gustave Speth, former dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • Frances Moore Lappé, author Diet for a Small Planet & activist
  • Ai-jen Poo, Co-Founder & Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • May Boeve, Executive Director,
  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President & CEO, Hip Hop Caucus
  • Rahna Epting, Executive Director, MoveOn
  • Erika Andiola, Chief Advocacy Officer, RAICES
  • Shaun King, Journalist & Advocate; Founder, The North Star & Real Justice PAC
  • Kallan Benson, National Coordinator, Fridays For Future US
  • Piper Perabo, Actor & Activist
  • Josh Fox, director, Gasland films & activist
  • Ady Barkan, Co-Founder, Be A Hero
  • Cenk Uygur, Host of The Young Turks
  • Thom Hartmann, Author and Radio & Television Host
  • Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Director, Kairos Center; Co-Chair, Poor Peoples Campaign
  • Nelini Stamp, Director of Strategy, Working Families Party
  • Lawrence Lessig, Law Professor & Activist
  • Daryl Hannah, Actor & Activist
  • Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, founder Ocean Collectiv
  • Frances Fisher, Actress & Activist
  • Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder, CODEPINK and Global Exchange
  • Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director, Indivisible
  • Bruno Federico Rodríguez, Leader, Youth For Climate Argentina
  • Stephen Noble Smith, Candidate for Governor, West Virginia Can’t Wait
  • Paula Jean Swearingen, 2020 Candidate for US Senator for West Virginia
  • Palle Bendsen, NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark
  • Klara Sørensen, Den Grønne Studenterbevægelse (The Danish Green Students Movement)
  • Bente Hessellund Andersen, NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark
  • Thomas Meinert Larsen, 350 Climate Movement of Denmark (350 Klimabevægelsen i Danmark)
  • Signe Sand, Den Grønne Studenterbevægelse (The Danish Green Students Movement)
  • Rania Batrice, President-Batrice and Associates, Advocate, Activist
  • Katharine Wilkinson, Author and Vice President, Project Drawdown
  • Jodie Evans, Co-founder, CODEPINK, Board chair Rainforest Action Network
  • Ricken Patel, Founding President & Executive Director, Avaaz
  • Larry Cohen, Board Chair, Our Revolution; Past President, Communications Workers of America
  • Andre Vasquez, 40th Ward Alderman on Chicago City Council
  • Lydia Avila, Consultant and Advocate; Former Executive Director, Powershift Network
  • Jordan Marie Daniel, Founder & Organizer of Rising Hearts
  • Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Action
  • Marianne Williamson, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate
  • Dante Barry, Co-Founder & Director, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
  • Cameron Russell, Model & co-founder Model Mafia
  • Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, North America Director,
  • Jamie Henn, Co-founder,
  • Ana Kasparian, Host and Executive Producer of The Young Turks
  • Anna Galland, Organizer & Activist
  • Phillip Agnew, Organizer & Artist
  • Stephanie Taylor, Co-Founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
  • Taj James, Founder & Senior Advisor at Movement Strategy Center
  • Jesse Simons, National Program Director, Sierra Club
  • Erin Bridges, Fundraising Director and Kentucky Lead, Sunrise Movement
  • Paulina Gonzalez, Executive Director, California Reinvestment Coalition
  • RoseAnn DeMoro, former Executive Director, National Nurses United
  • Evan Weber, Co-founder and Political Director, Sunrise Movement
  • Matt Nelson, Executive Director, Presente.Org
  • John Sellers, Co-Founder The Other 98 & The Ruckus Society
  • Madeline ffitch, Author and Activist
  • Ann Pancake, Writer-in-Residence, West Virginia University
  • Rev. Erica Williams, National Organizer, Poor Peoples Campaign
  • William Barber III, North Carolina Poor Peoples Campaign Environmental Justice Committee
  • David Hartsough, Co-founder, World Beyond War; Director, PEACEWORKERS
  • Jodi Jacobson, Writer, Analyst & Advocate
  • Ryan Frankenberry, Director, West Virginia Working Families Party
  • Karen Williams, Theomusicologist, West Virginia Poor Peoples Campaign
  • Loretta Young, Co-Chair, West Virginia Poor Peoples Campaign
  • David Braun, Executive Director, Rootskeeper; Co-Founder, Americans Against Fracking
  • Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Author & Moral Activist
  • Will Lawrence, Co-Founder, Sunrise Movement
  • Karuna Jaggar, Health Justice Activist
  • Rob Bennett, Activist
  • Chloe Smith, Rising Appalachia
  • Leah Smith, Rising Appalachia
  • Biko Casini, Rising Appalachia
  • David Brown, Rising Appalachia
  • Women’s March West Virginia
  • The Other 98
  • Wes Gillingham, Associate Director Catskill Mountainkeeper
  • Iris Fen Gillingham, Youth Activist
  • KC Golden, Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Solutions
  • Christine Arena, Founder, Generous Films
  • Nadia Nazar, Zero Hour Founder, Co-Executive Director, & Art Director
  • Anna Jane Joyner, Director, The Good Energy Project; co-host, No Place Like Home podcast
  • Richard (RJ) Eskow, writer; host, The Zero Hour (radio/TV)
  • Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO, O³, Advisor, Fullcycle Holdings
  • Shahzeen Attari, Associate Professor, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Sarah Myhre, Executive Director, Rowan Institute
  • Amy Westervelt, founder Critical Frequency, host/producer Drilled
  • Crystal Chissell, Vice President, Project Drawdown
  • Martha Jeffries, Director & Producer
  • Renee Lertzman, PhD, psychologist and founder, Project InsideOut
  • Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., Author, Journalist, and Children’s Advocate
  • Charles Wilson, Author, The Good Food Revolution and Chew on This
  • David Bender, Author and Broadcaster
  • Lew Prillaman* Co-President, Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition
  • Catherine Jozwik * Co-President, Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition
  • Aileen Curfman*, Co-Chair Sierra Club, West Virginia Chapter; member Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition
  • Regina Hendrix*, Co-Chair, Eastern Panhandle Sierra Club; Coordinating Council member, Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition
  • Gail Kohlhorst*, Co-Chair, Eastern Panhandle Sierra Club; member Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition

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